- Portland US-OR
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Founded by Tony and Molly Deis in 2004, Trackers Northwest grew out of a shared love for ecology, the wilderness, and the wildlife that make the outdoors so incredible. A gardening enthusiast when he was a teen, Tony Deis soon realized his passion for permaculture and the outdoors. Going on to serve as a consultant in environmental education, Mr. Deis gained much expertise through the graduate sustainability program at Portland State University and a number of adventure education workshops. Molly Deis fuses her interest in music and the outdoors, operating as an avid cellist and founding member of Trackers Northwest. Other key members of the Trackers Northwest team include Mariners Guild Coordinator & Youth Instructor Maude Bowman, After School & Rover’s Chieftain Jamey Proudstar Espinoza, and Wilders Guild Coordinator & Youth Instructor Darcy Bedortha. Among the many courses Trackers Northwest provides, some of the more popular programs are the Wilderness Survival and Wildlife Tracking courses. With hands-on activities and instruction in outdoors skills, the Wilderness Survival course helps each student learn strategies in survival, while also being one with the natural world. By learning primitive technologies, individuals understand how nature can provide and give back in times of need. In the Wildlife Tracking course, students gain immense knowledge about the animals they track, engaging with nature and comprehending patterns and various animal behaviors. Youth courses may also be enjoyed through summer camps, custom programs, and after-school activities.
In a world full of condos, grocery stores, airplanes, and smartphones, it is strange to think that survival skills are any longer a necessity. However, survival skills such as navigation and foraging are skills that can be fun and interesting to learn. Here are some survival skills worth pursuing. 1. How to track and hunt for food. Even if you do not want to hunt an animal, the skill of tracking is fascinating because it puts you in touch with the details of the natural world, such as animal tracks, scents in the wind, the temperature of the ground, and much more. 2. How to forage for wild food and plants. This skill is worth learning because you may be surprised to know just how many common plants we take for granted each day. For example, dandelions, known as common weeds, are edible and make a great addition to salads. 3. How to obtain water. Knowing how to find water can be helpful if you enjoy going on long hiking or camping trips. You may learn common sense things like how to follow a river to the top of its source in order to obtain the freshest and cleanest water supply. 4. How to build a fire. Learning how to build a fire using only natural tools is a fairly difficult task that anyone should be proud to master. Building a fire requires you to know how to balance air flow with heat conduction, and how to create enough friction to produce a spark. 5. How to navigate using elements found in nature. One of the simplest methods of navigation include following the direction of the sun in correlation with the approximate time of day. This method can be learned quite easily and may be useful in many situations, such as figuring out directions in a new city. About Trackers Northwest: Founded in 2004, Trackers Northwest is an organization that supports natural living and the teaching and learning of traditional skills such as tracking, hunting, foraging, and tool-making.